Peter Leitemu – Board Chairperson
Peter is a graduate of BSc. Technology in Knowledge Management from the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) and a current student of MA in Project Management from Nairobi University. He is now doing his thesis. Peter also has a Higher Diploma in Information Management and a Diploma in Information Studies.
As a Branch Manager, Peter worked for 18 years with National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in different parts of the country. He is currently the manager for NHIF Marsabit Branch.
Peter is committed and passionate about making sure the marginalized communities are well represented and their voices heard. He was appointed as the Chairperson for the Kenya based Amuka Board of Trustees.
Mary Lemaro – Board Treasurer
Mary has a background in Social Work and Development. She worked at the Postal Corporation of Kenya as a data entry clerk for close to 3 years. Mary now works as a Community Health Assistant Officer (CHAs) based in Karare Catholic dispensary.
She is also involved with other community development projects mainly those concerning the empowerment of women and girls.
Mary learnt about Amuka through Ellie a few years ago. She was later appointed to the Board of Amuka Kenyan based Trustees as the treasurer due to her previous experience with empowerment programs.
Antonella Lobura – Community Representative
Antonella is a nurse by profession as well as a counselling psychologist having 20 years of work experience in both the medical field and community programs. Antonella is currently, the nominated MCA for Samburu County, representing women interests in the County assembly. Antonella is passionate and committed in making sure womens interests are well represented, especially the pastoralist women in Kenya. In most forums she has been advocating and creating awareness on FGM, GBV and HIV/AIDs.
Antonella was elected to the Board of Trustees for Amuka Foundation as a Community Representative.
Samwel Mwayi Mbewa
Samwel is a graduate of Bsc. Community Development from Egerton University and a current student of MA in Gender and Development from UoN. Samwel also has professional certifications in Gender Poverty and Development and Participatory Rural Appraisal from Egerton University.
Samwel has held several positions in several organizations including, M&E Officer, Gender officer, Partnerships and grants officer, Programs Manager at several organizations including SHOFCO, Destined Youth, Better Chance Initiative and IHOPEE International.
Currently, Samwel is part of the team spearheading the implementation of the US state sponsored Community Together Initiative-a project aimed at increasing the collaboration between the community and law enforcement as a means of Countering Violent Extremist Ideologies. Samwel is passionate about creating safe spaces within marginalised communities which is why he is a member of the board of Amuka.
Lizza Sariyon Neepe
Lizza is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts (Gender and Development Studies) from University of Nairobi. Born and brought up in Karare, Marsabit County, Lizza possesses vast knowledge about the community. Lizza has previously worked with two projects:
BOMA Project; aimed at improving livelihood of women in Marsabit County by providing them with training, mentorship programs in small businesses and providing funds to start and increase their businesses.
Green Cross Organisation; aimed to raise awareness in community about preservation of environment in the year 2015.
Lizza has excellent skills, knowledge and great passion for female empowerment, gender equity and community development programs. Lizza learnt about Amuka Foundation from its founder Ellie, and due to their shared passion and love for female empowerment programmes was appointed as one of the Board members for Amuka.
Lizza admires women who have the heart to support the vulnerable in the community such like Ellie, who through Amuka Foundation has been able to equip, empower and enable the women and girls in Karare with needed knowledge and skills in sewing and mentorship programs.
John Upane – Community Representative
John has a background in Peace and Justice. He did a course in Advocacy at Catholic Mission in Karare. John holds several positions in the Karare community including; secretary of the land committee, secretary of the market committee, chairperson of the Community Forest Association and chairperson of the Child Fund Kenya Karare region. He is always on the front line to ensure community issues are addressed to the concerned authorities.
John learnt about Amuka Foundation from Ellie and Steve, first during its inception in Karare. He is happy about Amuka projects and supports the work of Amuka in Karare.
Rosalia is a teacher by profession, currently the Head Teacher for Loruko Primary School, Karare. A position she has held for the last two years. Loruko Primary will have their ever first STD 8 Candidates sitting for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at the end of this year.
As Head Teacher her working relationship started with the Amuka Foundation in 2017. Since then the school has benefited immensely from the support ranging from funds to repair classrooms and latrines, erect guttering to harvest water, and support of the ECD class. The Amuka Foundation has provided donations of uniforms, educational materials, playing materials and sanitary products to the school.
Early this year Amuka established the Girls Mentorship Program with 15 girls from Loruko enrolled to the program. Rosalia welcomed this initiative and its focus on improving the attendance and performance of the girls as well as their self-confidence. Rosalia looks forward to continue working with the Foundation and is committed to supporting the projects undertaken at the school.
Daniel Lekesike is the Head teacher for Lakartinya Primary School. He is very thankful to the Amuka Foundation for their ongoing support and donations to Lakartinya Primary School. Their partnership started 2 years ago and during that time children at the school have benefited from donations of school uniforms, shoes, educational materials and sports equipment.
Daniel is in full support of the Girls Mentorship Program which the Amuka Foundation started earlier this year at Lakartinya Primary School. Twelve girls have been enrolled onto the program.
The support for the Lakartinya ECD class is one of the most notable contributions that the school receives from Amuka. Daniel is very positive and supports the Foundations work within the school
Charles Orre is a retired military officer from Kenya Army where he served for 31 years. After his retirement Charles returned to Karare and focused on taking care of his livestock; where later he started his own retail shop in Karare town. Currently, he is the chairperson for a local self-help community group whose mission is to uplift the lives of pastoralists within his neighborhood through table banking initiative.
As a Community Elder Charles inspires many to embrace change and send their children to school. All of his children have gone to school and he even has a son working abroad!
Charles was introduced to Amuka early this year. Having learnt about Amuka Foundation, he accepted to join the team as one of the board members for Amuka Kenyan based Trustees.
Ann Lesayaya – Board Vice Secretary
Ann has been a cook at Bishop Cavallera Girls High School, Karare for the last 6 years. She is proud and feels positive about her job. As a local farmer Ann grows maize, beans and vegetables mainly for home consumption. She is also involved in bead work.
Ann is honored to be the Vice Secretary of Amuka Kenyan Based Trustees. She believes that when people work together for a common cause that change is inevitable.
Ezra Mbai is 26 years old and currently working as Flight Attendant at Kenya Airways. With a BSc. Meteorology Degree from the University of Nairobi, a President’s Award; Kenya Gold Awardee, an Alumni of Common Purpose and founder of O&U Lightings and WeatherWatch KE LTD, he knows what it means to chase your dreams.
Ezra’s passion for empowerment of young people and women; especially through business and entrepreneurship, is deeply rooted. He believes that since none of us chose to be born, hence it is our duty to ensure we are a voice for the marginalised.
As well as great enthusiasm and energy, Ezra brings a youthful perspective, informed by diverse cultural experiences of travel and work experiences. Ezra has experience to share; much of his own learning arising from many years growing up in a children’s home. Through his ambition to succeed, Ezra also brings experience in management, strategic planning and business development.
Ezra’s journey with Amuka foundation originates from a long term friendship with Ellie. After meeting during her first visit to Kenya in 2014, Ellie became Ezra’s mentor whilst in campus.
“Over the years we have shared great ideas. I have always been inspired by Ellie’s passion to bridge the gap in gender equality and the commitment of every trustee is such an inspiration. To now see and be a part of the impact Amuka is making, it is such an honour to be part of this great team.”
Stephen grew up within the pastoralist community of Karare. A highly accredited and experienced safari tour leader, Stephen is passionate about wildlife conservation and environmental matters. Matched with his passion for football, Stephen invests much of his time in working with young people from the community to create an environment where all natives of the local wilderness can live in peace.
A critical role for Stephen within Amuka Foundation and the Kenya Board of Trustees is engaging with community elders. His role within the community enables us to develop our programmes and presence, continuing to bring about change for women and girls through trust and understanding.
Stephen’s own organisation Lenaa Birds Conservation Karare regularly works with Amuka Foundation to bring together young people and address multiple issues through sporting, mentorship and environmental activities.